Chloe Schibeci previews the 2019 Origin opener between Queensland and New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Maroons have the home ground advantage to open the 2019 series. Despite losing the series overall, they side won the third game in Queensland.
New South Wales Blues
The Blues won the 2018 State of Origin series. They won the first game, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, before securing the series – their first since 2014 – in front of a home crowd at ANZ Stadium in game two.
The Maroons have named three debutants and a new captain for the 2019 series opener. Moses Mbye, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita will make their Origin debut while Daly Cherry-Evans has been named captain.
QLD Maroons’ Squad: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Michael Morgan, 4. Will Chambers, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Jai Arrow, 9. Ben Hunt, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire, 14. Moses Mbye, 15. Joe Ofahengaue, 16. Dylan Napa, 17. David Fifita, 18. Tim Glasby.
New South Wales Blues
Cody Walker, Payne Haas, Cameron Murray, Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric have been chosen by coach Brad Fittler to make their debuts for NSW in game one.
NSW Blues’ Squad: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jake Trbojevic, 14. Jack Wighton, 15. Payne Haas, 16. Cameron Murray, 17. Angus Crichton
HEAD TO HEAD
The Blues will be looking to win their second series in a row, while the Maroons will be looking for redemption. It will be an exciting game at Suncorp Stadium, with a handful of new players being named in each team and a full house expected. It will be important to get that first win prior to both teams travelling to the neutral venue in Perth for game two. Statistically, Queensland will have the advantage as they have won 35 of 55 Origins at Suncorp.
The game could come down to the battle of the spine. Fullbacks Kalyn Ponga and James Tedesco are arguably two of the best players in the NRL at the moment. Daly Cherry Evans and Cameron Munster have the experience over the NSW halves Nathan Cleary and debutant Cody Walker. Both spines will benefit from which team gains ascendancy in the forward battle. State of Origin is always a tight affair and it is vital for each side to make the most of any opportunities. Good forward momentum and fast play-the-balls, along with controlling possession, might enable one of the teams to get on top of the other.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Wednesday, June 5
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-off: 8:10 PM
Referee: Gerard Sutton, Ashley Klein
WHO WILL WIN?
The markets have NSW a slight favourite to win this one. However, the Maroons’ home ground advantage will certainly keep things close. There is a mixture of experience and youth in both sides and they look evenly matched.
NSW by four.